Saturday, June 15, 2013

Need a Single World To Describe Higher Education in America – Try ‘Corrupt’ with a Capital C

Except Maybe That is Too Mild

The 21st Century will not be known as the American century. The U. S. is a large, powerful and prosperous nation, but during the current century, now 13 years old, it will not be known as a great country.  And while there are many reasons for this, one of the strongest and least recognized is the horrific decline in the status and nature of higher education, particular public universities.

The corruption of these institutions has been going on for some time.  Athletics is now a driving factor in colleges, with undergraduate education not even a close second.  The administration of state universities has become inefficient and bloated, with overpaid and underworked administrators and college presidents who receive compensation and benefits in the millions.  Full Professors work less than 1500 hours a year and less than 40 weeks a year.  And much of the teaching load is carried by adjuncts, part time teachers many of whom have little skill and ability, their only beneficial characteristic being that they are willing to work for very low wages.

Need more proof? It now has been revealed that the University of Michigan is in the business of selling insider information.

A closely watched consumer confidence number that routinely moves markets upon release is accessed by an elite group of traders, for a fee, a full two seconds before its official release, according to a document obtained by CNBC.

A contract signed by Thomson Reuters, the news agency and data provider, and the University of Michigan, which produces the widely cited economic statistic, stipulates that the data will be posted on the web for the general public at 10 a.m. on the days it is released.

Five minutes before that, at 9:55 a.m., the data is distributed on a conference call for Thomson Reuters' paying clients, who are given certain headline numbers.

How does this come about?  Money of course

For exclusive access to the data, Thomson Reuters pays the University of Michigan $1 million per year, according to the contract, in addition to a "contingent fee" based on the revenue generated by Thomson Reuters. The contract reviewed by CNBC was signed in September 2009. It expired a year later. Thomson Reuters and the University Michigan confirmed that the relationship still exists.

Now everybody needs to know that this is not payment for proprietary information, it is payment to receive public information ahead of the public, so that those receiving the information can engage in legal insider trading.

Within milliseconds, the new data causes market reaction—a move that can come the instant Thomson Reuters transmits the data to its elite group of traders. On May 17, for example, trading volume exploded in the Spider ETF at exactly 9:54:57.975. More than 100,000 shares traded hands in the first 10 milliseconds of the burst of activity, reports the analysis firm Nanex, LLC. Within 100 milliseconds, the price of SPY jumped from $165.90 to more than $166.06.

In the first half second of the trading burst, Nanex calculates that more than $40 million changed hands, just in the Spider ETF.

By 10 seconds into the event, more than $100 million had changed hands.

As for the University of Michigan, here is what they have to say.

The University of Michigan's arrangement with Thomson Reuters dates to 2007, said a university spokesman. "This is something that's been reviewed carefully," said university spokesman Rick Fitzgerald. "It's been in place for a number of years, and we think it complies with all the regulations." Fitzgerald said the total amount received by the university under the deal has been "very close" to a million dollars each year.

Asked why a taxpayer-financed university should sell data to Wall Street before it releases it to the taxpayers, Fitzgerald said: "Most of our research funding comes from private sources."

Disgusting, offensive, nauseating, no that really doesn’t describe the practice here.  But what you have is just another day of doing business in America, the financial manipulation business of course, not a real business where products are made or services are provided.  And the financial manipulation business major characteristic,  corrupting any and all that the investing business comes into contact with.

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